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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Reflection: Endurance: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     What is the longest physical endurance you have experienced?

2.     Could you continue to live fully if it had not ended? Or, how do you continue if it is ongoing?

3.     What hope or dream are you looking toward? Would anything cause you to stop before reaching it?

4.     How might creation’s labor pains become a metaphor for our prayers for our loved ones?

Share: How might that help us to not lose heart as years go by?

Monday, January 29, 2018

Endurance: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8:22

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now.”

Physical labor pains are difficult enough for a short period of time. But to consider the concept of enduring them without limit is beyond understanding. Thankfully, it can’t happen as medical professionals step in to save the lives.

Yet creation is still waiting for release. Still waiting for the new life once born in the first creation to be restored. When every day brought about a newness of life and “God saw that it was good.”

Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational trials weary us to the bone. In each situation there comes a place of decision. Do we continue to trust in new birth, new beginnings, and new beauty in God’s timing? Or does the waiting, the discomfort, the challenge, the exhaustion, the inconveniences, or the pain, pull us away from trusting in Him and His mercy. We falter. We fall.

Yet what is unattainable in our own strength and determination is possible when we are able to trust the Lord’s love and commitment to us to carry us through. No matter how long the pain endures. No matter the outcome. Because.

We are His living stones, redeemed by His mercy, precious in His sight.

Lord, please keep our hearts steadfast in Your words of life and hope and trust.

Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8:21

“Endowing with wealth those who love me, and filling their treasuries.”

Friday, January 26, 2018

Debris: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


                        Like a wind-blown wave

                        crashes against a still shore

                        pounding it with debris

                        churned up in a storm

                        so our hearts, our lives,

                        actions and reactions

                        engulf those around us

                        swept up by hidden


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Reflection: Decay: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     Do you ever feel trapped in a difficult situation because of someone else’s decision?

2.     Have you ever made a choice that put someone you love in “a bondage of decay”?

3.     What attitudes toward ourselves and others can bring repair?

4.     Bring your own sense of decay before the Lord and ask for prayer this week.

Share: Is there a special word that gives you hope in the immediate circumstances?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Decay: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8:21

“That the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”

“In hope.”

In nature decay is considered a life generating essential process. A natural recycle system that decomposes in order to release enzymes that allows nutrients to be absorbed.

For us personally, decay of body, or heart, or relationships seems to us as disease, or brokenness, or rejection. Yet when brought openly into the light as medical diagnosis or honest communication healing can begin. In hope.

When we are willing to bring our darkness into God’s light, decay is recognized and we are also set free from the bondage we are engulfed in, whether caused by our own actions or by others. In hope.

In life and in death Jesus went into battle for us to obtain that freedom—that glory which is still often beyond our understanding. Yet the promise gives us His hope. Real hope.

Strength for the battle, healing for our souls, new beginnings. New nourishment. Every day. Sometimes every minute. Released from bondage.

Set free from the hidden debris we carry. New hope.

Lord, please bring Your light into each of us, so that Your glory may reside in our hearts turning our decay into Your new seeds of life.

Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8:20

“I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice.”

Friday, January 19, 2018

Shift: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


                        Subjection not by choice

                        carries an extra weight

                        subtle prompts of rebellion

                        crave fulfillment.

                        Decision to adjust

                        requires shift in faith

                        diligent self-weeding

                        resting on prophecy’s hope.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Reflection: Subjection: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     Do you ever see subjection as a means of hope? Why?

2.     From the previous verses creation seems to participate despite lack of choice. In what circumstances would you participate rather than resist?

3.     Would your outward obedience and inner heart be in agreement? Why or why not?

Share: For either reply what would you expect as a personal consequence?


Monday, January 15, 2018

Subjection: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8:20

“For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope.”

Subjected and hope are not two words we normally put together.

Subjection usually walks alongside despair, shame, failure, blame, and fear. Or, if we fight back then our words are retaliation and refuse and resist.

Both towards ourselves and towards others. With strong emotions and attitude.

Boundaries we do not choose we instinctively resist.

These may all be good responses to an immediate danger we can identify and a protection against one we cannot yet see. We pause, evaluate, pray, and seek guidance.

Then sometimes we become stunned to realize that we are to actively relinquish our will and accept the consequences in trust. Possibly with no idea of when or how the situation will end, or if we will ever know the reason.

“And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’” Revelation 21:5 NAS

Lord, give us courage when our wills are curtailed, first to seek Your guidance and then to accept Your strength when we need to obey. Enable us to bear the consequences in faith and trust and hope.

Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8:19

“My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.”


Friday, January 12, 2018

Hidden: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


                        Hidden in anticipation

                        waiting for the celebration

                        knowing special gifts

                        wrapped in love are

                        ready to be opened

                        hope of new birth

                        entering darkness

                        washing away sin

                        springing forth new light as

                        revelation of grace

                        brings hope—joy—reconciliation

                        all of creation restored.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Reflection: Reveal: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1. How well do we wait in anticipation?

2. In doubt? In surety? In longing? With purpose and expectation as creation   does?

3. What would change in us if every day we opened our hearts to see what the Lord has hidden but will reveal?

4. How can a sense of eager longing carry us through a long season of waiting?

Share: Has the Lord given you a surprise this week? Can you share?

Monday, January 8, 2018

Reveal: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8: 19

“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God;”

How hard is it for you to wait for something good? Do the minutes feel like hours? Do days begin to feel endless? What about the times we have to wait in uncertainty—not knowing whether the outcome will bring relief or distress.

What words are you waiting for the Lord to say to you? For an answer to a hidden yearning?

Often foreboding and fear can begin to creep into our thoughts and prayers. Even when we look towards something or someone with anticipation and hope, a delay can raise questions and doubts and worries.

But creation waits with purpose and expectation regardless of the time. There is no doubt of God’s fulfillment. The only question is when.

“I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

Creation waits in whole trust of a concrete completion. Still in longing but with an attitude of knowing and watching. Eager anticipation that lasts through days and months and years. Trusting in God’s time and in God’s promises.

Lord, please help us to perceive and follow You in complete trust too. With wonder.

Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8:18

“Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and prosperity.”


Friday, January 5, 2018

Glory: Listen: Prayers and Poetry


                        Glory not our vision

                        in day to day turmoil

                        allowing imitations to

                        color our hearts, our words,

                        deeper despair

                        when strategy strikes.

                        Wonder where God is.

                        Nature gives glimpses

                        if we stop and look at

                        splinter of light breaking

                        through storm clouds

                        tiny green shoots in

                        fire parched landscape

                        touches of glory in a

                        friend’s handclasp.

                        Glory ever present

                        when we look outward.



Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Reflection: Glimpses: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     How often does day-to-day commonness dull us to see God’s gifts?

2.     Where do you look?

3.     What are you facing this week, this month, this year with worry?

4.     Nature encompasses decay and beauty. How can we adapt our attitudes as well?

Share: What glimpse of glory did you see this week?

Monday, January 1, 2018

Glimpses: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8:18

“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.”

How often do we purposely look for glimpses of glory here and now?

When our days are overflowing with busyness, stress, crisis, and suffering we instinctively cry out in prayer for hope and healing. But do we remember to watch for the fragments of light that will break through the darkness.

Or when dullness and drudgery weary us emotionally, affecting all our relationships and creativity, do we submit? And allow discomfort, irritations, and glitches to build within us apathy and despair?

Watching for glory is not often on our daily to do list.

Our human sight is shallow in comparison to the Lord’s ongoing power and life that we too often cannot see beyond the brokenness surrounding us. And yet.

He is always present. Here and now. Everyday. Especially in the darkness.

Lord, please forgive us our narrow perspective. Keep our hearts and vision focused fully on Your word and Your path. Show us how to see Your glimpses.

Psalm of Worship: Proverbs 8:17

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.”


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